…WRITING IS A strange beast. Numerous doubts can send your writing into the shadows, overcast by various reasons as to why those words in front of you, few or numerous, are inadequate, lacking in any number of variables from character to plot. That beast of doubt can appear any time during the creative process, and with experience you learnt to shut it up by feeding it with silence and more words, hoping it will retreat.
I think it will be ever present in some guise or another, never fully vanquished, but the main topic I want to discuss is conscious writing. Writing that is hindered by all of those faces and voices telling you, you can’t write that! Having writing read on such a public platform as the world wide web, (potentially) accessible by billions (unlikely) isn’t necessarily the issue. In fact I find it is the people I know that can cast an unwanted take on my creative process. It is easy to get into the dreaded thought-loop of ruminating upon what someone might think of a post, of a story, of a topic…
Don’t! Easier said that done however. We are all influenced by those we know. Writing is open to interpretation too of course, adding another layer of insecurity, like any wordsmith needs it. Writing honestly, without holding back, without worrying about losing followers or offending someone is the ticket to individuality, freedom and originality. Being brave, although it sounds pathetic in the context of sitting in front of a laptop, is what makes writing brilliant, spine tingling, memorable! Communicating words with conviction and passion only comes with freedom from those who might doubt you, who would think less of you, who might question your very character because of a series of sentences. That is what expression means. But to quiet those voices, to hush them to sleep with a lullaby, while simultaneously writing words they might not approve – might being the operative word – is when writing really comes alive, if it was previously gagged or restrained.
Writing becomes fully realised when we write strictly from our own point of view offering a genuine part of our selves that hasn’t fallen victim to questioning or interrogation before finding publication. It is easy to flippantly say I don’t care but we do. We shouldn’t, but we do. Every person I’ve ever met cares about their reputation, how they are perceived by others; it is integral to our existence, the human feedback loop. And us writers? Oh boy, we care a lot. Not necessarily in an egotistic or narcissistic way, just in terms of writing being an extension of ourselves, as easily injured as a hand or knee.
I could say go forth and shock. There’s no need for that. Just tell those doubting voices to STFU. Who writes the words? You do. Who think your thoughts? You do. Exactly. Expressing your opinion is essential. Do it. And I’ll try to do the same. Ultimately we can only censor ourselves.
And remember, there’s a reason why printed material, is the first thing to be fully controlled by dictatorships. You and I are ever so slightly dangerous!